Nasrudin Drums Up An Answer
- There was once a small boy who banged a drum all day...
and loved every moment of it. He would not be quiet,
no matter what anyone else said or did. Various people
who called themselves Sufis, and other well-wishers,
were called in by neighbors and asked to do something
about the child.
The first so-called Sufi told the boy that he would,
if he continued to make so much noise, perforate his
eardrums; this reasoning was too advanced for the
child, who was neither a scientist nor a scholar. The
second told him that drum beating was a sacred
activity and should be carried out only on special
occasions. The third offered the neighbors plugs for
their ears; the fourth gave the boy a book; the fifth
gave the neighbors books that described a method of
controlling anger through biofeedback; the sixth gave
the boy meditation exercises to make him placid and
explained that all reality was imagination. Like all
placebos, each of these remedies worked for a short
while, but none worked for very long.
Eventually, Mullah Nasrudein came along. He looked at
the situation, handed the boy a hammer and chisel, and
said, "I wonder what is INSIDE the drum?"